Is Dragon’s Breath a Perennial?

Let’s get it straight out of the way.  A dragon’s breath plant isn’t a perennial; it’s an annual. Although, some species are considered short-lived perennials, it will depend on the climate as to how long these plants live.

Dragon’s Breath plants are also known as Wool plants, fox red, or cockscomb. They are native to the Namib Desert in Southwestern Africa, and some species are also found in China.

These beautiful annual flowers have become popular worldwide and are commonly grown in yards across America. Let’s look at the dragon breath plant and answer the question, ‘are dragons breath perennials?’

Dragons breath plants are an annual that die after they bloom

What is a dragon breath plant?

Dragons Breath is an Annual

Dragon plants have the scientific name celosias; they are beautiful flowers that are soft and pointed. These flowers are bright red, orange, and yellow; they look like flames, which is why they have been named dragon breath. Due to its popularity, you can find several hybrids of this plant, including pink, yellow or white flowers.

Celosias are often used as ornamental plants. They come from the Amaranthaceae family, and they have been around for centuries. You will most likely recognize them due to their bright colors and long, spiky leaves. Their flowers can also range in color from yellow to pink or dark red. These plants are relatively low maintenance even though they need a lot of sunlight and water.

Dragon breath plants grow best outdoors as potted plants or in a flower border. They thrive in warm, sunny spots and may survive the winters if the temperature remains above 60F. They are most likely to survive winters in USDA zones 10 or 11.

Dragon breath plants are fairly tall and can grow to between 15 and 25 inches.

Park Seed Dragon's Breath Celosia Seeds - Celosia Flower...
  • Has there ever been such a radiantly beautiful celosia? This variegated cockscomb offers red-hot plumes above olive-green leaves edged in and shot with red accents. A late-flowering variety, it holds beautifully, thrives in heat...
  • Dragon's Breath is a magnificent presence in the annual bed, patio pot, and vase. It grows quickly and flowers over a long, late season, extending the glory of the celosias into fall. And there is simply nothing like it in terms...
  • Reaching 2 feet high in bloom, Dragon's Breath actually increases its leaf and flower production in hot, humid weather, and likes its soil on the dry side. Many container annuals simply cannot last in the punishing conditions of...
  • The variegated foliage is another boon, keeping Dragon's Breath handsome both before and after bloom as well as during its long show of color.
  • Dragon's Breath seed does best when direct sown, and once it has germinated, it would rather not be moved. Sow the seed outdoors well after all danger of frost has passed, setting it just ⅛-inch deep and covering lightly. It...

Are dragons breath plants perennials or annuals?

Is Dragon's Breath and Annual

Dragons breath plants are an annual that die after they bloom; in some climates, they may be longer-lasting and live for more than one growing season. For this reason, there is some confusion about whether they are annuals or perennials. Some people consider these plants to be short-living perennials.

In USDA zones, 10 to 12 dragons’ breath plants are likely to reseed and grow back every year.

How to care for a dragons breath plant

Now that we know that dragon’s breath are not perennials, here’s how to care for one.  Plant your dragon’s breath plant in a spot that gets six hours of sunlight every day. They require regular watering to establish themselves, but once mature; they are very drought tolerant, so you can water less often. Make sure that your plant is in well-drained soil, as waterlogging can kill these plants.

You can also fertilize your dragon’s breath plants when you plant them to help increase the number and quality of the blooms. You can get your plant to bloom for longer by fertilizing once a month. These plants like the atmosphere to be slightly humid. They grow best outdoors in hot areas and don’t do well as houseplants as the air will be too dry for the flowers to flourish.

It would help if you also mulched around your plants using organic matter, deadhead the flowers as needed, and were on the lookout for pests.


Dragons breath plants are short-lived perennials, and they may reseed in the right conditions. Most people consider them to be annuals as they die after their first blooming season. They need full sunlight, well-drained soil, and regular watering, dragon breath plants also like humid air, which is why they aren’t suitable for houseplants.

Last update on 2024-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API